Kern County citrus farmers fight against produce thefts

Farmers combat produce thefts - Kern County citrus farmers aren't just losing their crops to the severe drought, but also to thieves that target many Central Valley farms. 

John Gless, owner of Gless Farms, has lost a lot of produce due to theft. He has tried to combat the problem for many years, but it just keeps getting worse. 

"The metal theft is just crazy right now..copper wiring, brass valves, pretty much anything that they can find," Gless said. 

The thefts are so frequent that Gless can't keep up with just how much produce he has lost to the thieves, but he believes he's had to spend between $30,000 to $40,000 to repair electrical wiring. 

"We've built what almost looks like jails over these pumps and electrical panels..almost impossible to access with bolt cutters and the only way their getting in is with a torch," Gless said. 

Large companies like Paramount Farms have teamed with Pipkin Detective Agency to stop thieves from taking anymore of their produce. This week the agency was able to catch a trio that is believed to have stolen from the farm recently. 

"There are organized crime rings coming from Southern California because we've investigated several truck load thefts of nuts, walnuts and pistachios," said Detective Rocky Pipkin. 

Read: 3 men arrested after theft of 21 lemons from Paramount Farms

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